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Family Apiaceae / Umbelliferae
Karot
Daucus carota L.
CARROT

Si liao hu luo bo

Scientific names Common names
Daucus carota L. Karot (Tag.)
  Carrot (Engl.)
  Si liao hu luo bo (Chin.)
  Remolacha (Span.)

Botany
Carrot is an erect, vegetable herb, growing 30 to 60 centimeters in height, with 2 to 3 pinnate leaves, the ultimate leaflet being oblong-lanceolate or linear. Flowers are small, white, or yellow, borne in compound umbels. Fruit is small, ellipsoid, dorsally compressed, bristled and ribbed. The tap root is robust, sometimes swollen, fleshy, and yellow or orange-colored.

Distribution
- Cultivated for its fleshy roots.
- Grows best at high elevation, particularly the Baguio area.
- Introduced to the Philippines.
- Native of Europe, northern Africa, and Asia.

Constituents
- Leaves contain a volatile oil with pyrrolidine, daucine, and mannite.
- Roots yield volatile oil 0.0114%; fixed oil, carotin, lecithin, phosphatide, glutamine, sugar 4 to 12%, d-glucose, malic acid, pectin 1 to 3%, asparagine, inosite, etc.
- Leaves and seeds yield an alkaloid; the seeds, in addition, yield a bitter glucoside.

Properties
Astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, sudorific.

Parts used
Roots, seeds.
Uses
Culinary / Nutritional / Edibility
- A valued vegetable, eaten raw or cooked.
- An ingredient of Philippine achara; also used in various native dishes.
- Roots are a good source of calcium, iron, and phosphorus; a fair source of vitamin B; and a source of vitamins A, C and B2.
- In Java, the young leaves are eaten.

Folkloric
- Believed to be beneficial for cancers and kidney problems.
- For coughs and chest afflictions, the roots are boiled in milk; the milk is drunk and a poultice of the root is applied to the chest.
- In Mexico, roots are boiled in milk and used for coughs and chest affliction.
- For burns and infected ulcers, grated carrots are applied to the affected parts.
- Ointment made from roots and lard used for burns and scalds.
- Raw carrots eaten as mechanical anthelmintic.
- Root made into marmalade used as refrigerant.
- Poultice of carrots also used for ulcers, carbuncles, infected wounds.
- Seeds of the plant when ground to powder and taken as tea for colic and to increase urine flow.
- Tea of carrot blossoms has been used for treatment of dropsy.
- In India, seeds as considered a nervine tonic; Decoction of leaves and seeds used as stimulant to the uterus during parturition. In the Punjab, seeds are used as aphrodisiac and used for uterine pain. Fruit is recommended for chronic diarrhea. Seeds also used as abortifacient.
- In European folk medicine, root decoction used for jaundice and hepatic disorders.

Studies
Hepatoprotective: (1) A study of carrot extract revealed it could provide significant protective action in the alleviation of CCl4-induced hepatocellular injury. (2) Study of carrot extract showed it restored the depressed antioxidants and HDL levels to near normal and afforded a significant protective effect against lindane-induced hepatotoxicity.
Antitumor: Study of the petroleum ether extract of seeds of carrot showed antitumor activity, inhibiting the growth of Ehrlich ascites tumor in mice.
Antifungal / Cytotoxicity: Study or Daucus carota oil showed it to contain high amounts of elemicin with its strong antifungal activity with cytotoxicity and low detrimental effect on mammalian cells.
Cardiovascular / Hypotensive Effect: (1) Study of ethanolic extract exhibited Ca+ channel blocking-like direct relaxant action on cardiac and smooth muscle preparation, an activity probably responsible for its hypotensive effect. (2) Study results imply that D. carota is a potential source of protection from myocardial infarction and maintenance of its tonicity.
Hypolipidemic / Cognitive Dysfunction Benefits: Daucus carota extract significantly reduced brain acetylcholinesterase activity and cholesterol levels in mice. Results suggest it may be a useful remedy for management of cognitive dysfunctions with multifarious beneficial activities including memory improving property, cholesterol lowering benefits and anticholinesterase activity.
Intraocular Pressure Lowering: Topical application of DC seed extract in rabbits showed a comparatively slower onset of action but the duration of action comparable to pilocarpine in all experimental models.
Cognitive and Memory Benefits: Study of ethanol extract of D. carota suggest it may prove useful for the management of cognitive dysfunctions with memory improving property, cholesterol lowering and anticholinesterase activity.
Hypolipidemic: Ethanolic extract of seeds exhibited a significant lowering of total cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL ?, and VLDL as compared to the control group. The antioxidant potential of seeds contributed to the reduction of oxidative stress and lipid levels in experimental rats.
Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory: Ethanolic seed extract investigated for anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity in acute and chronic models in rats inhibited carrageenan, histamine, and serotonin-induced paw edema. The extract also significantly attenuated the writhing responses induced by intraperitoneal acetic acid injection.

Availability
Cultivated market produce.
Carrot seed essential oil in the cybermarket.


Last Update January 2012

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Daucus carota / Jacob Sturm, Johann Georg Sturm - Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen (1796) / Pubiic Domain . / alterVISTA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: UMBEL / Wild Carrot, this umbel about 8cm diameter. / File:Daucus carota May 2008-1 edit.jpg / MAY 2008 / Alvesgaspar. / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Hepatoprotective activity of carrot (Daucus carota L.) against carbon tetrachloride intoxication in mouse liver / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 47, Issue 2, 7 July 1995, Pages 69-74 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(95)01254-B
(2)
Effect of the seed extract of carrot (Daucus carota Linn.) on the growth of Ehrlich ascites tumour in mice / P. K. Majumder, M. Gupta / Phytotherapy Research Vol 12 Issue 8, Pages 584 - 585 / (DOI) 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199812)12:8<584::AID-PTR332>3.0.CO;2- /
(3)
Essential oil of Daucus carota subsp. halophilus : Composition, antifungal activity and cytotoxicity / Journal of ethnopharmacology / 2008, vol. 119, no1, pp. 129-134
(4)
Cardiovascular actions of Daucus carota / A H Gilani et al / Archives of Pharmacal Research / Volume 17, Number 3 / June, 1994 / DOI 10.1007/BF02974250
(5)
Protective effect of carrot (Daucus carota L.) against lindane - induced hepatotoxicity in rats / P. Balasubramaniam, L. Pari, Venugopal P. Menon / Phytotherapy Research Vol 12 Issue 6, Pages 434 - 436 /
(6)
Pharmacological Evidence for the Potential of Daucus carota in the Management of Cognitive Dysfunctions / Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin / Vol. 29 (2006) , No. 6 1154
(7)
Lowering of intraocular pressure by topical application of Daucus carota seed extract in rabbits / Renu Agarwal et al / Indian Jourl of Experimental Biology / Vol 46. July 2008, pp 541-546
(8)
Inotropic and cardioprotective effects of Daucus carota Linn. on isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction / P Muralidharan et al / Bangladesh J Pharmacol 2008; 3: 74-79
(9)
Pharmacological Evidence for the Potential of Daucus carota in the Management of Cognitive Dysfunctions(Pharmacology) / Vasudevan Mani and Parle Milind / Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin 29(6), 1154-1161, 2006-06-01
(10)
HYPOLIPIDEMIC ACTIVITY OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF DAUCUS CAROTA SEEDS IN NORMAL RATS / Kamlesh Singh, Hemant Dhongade, Nisha Singh, Pranita Kashyap / Internation Journal of Biomedical and Advance Research, Vol 1, No 3 (2010)
(11)
Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammtory Properties of Daucus carota Seeds Extract
/ Mani Vasudevan, Kumar Gunnam, and Millind Parle / Journal of Health Science, 52(5) 598-606, 2006.


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